Sony DSC-M2 Review
Record Mode Screens & Menus
The screen display when in the AUTO (point-n-shoot) mode. Minimal information is
displayed and only a few parameters such as image size or recording mode can be
changed. Upper left is the battery level and remaining time in minutes that's
constantly displayed, to its right are indicators for the recording folder (101), and
that minimized copies of captured images will be saved to the M2's Album.
Whenever the zoom setting is changed, the sliding gauge below
the battery icon is displayed briefly; to its right is the indicator for Macro mode.
In the center are the AF target marks.
The lower left displays the still image information, including size ("5M"egapixels), normal
(single image) recording mode and
the remaining number of images that can be recorded on the Memory Stick Duo. The lower
right displays the moving image information, including movie size (640 30fps), the amount
of recording time remaining on the Memory Stick Duo, and the movie recording mode
The camera mode is selected from the
first option in the menu: Auto, Program, Magnifying Glass (super
closeup mode), Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Landscape, Snow,
Beach, High Speed Shutter, Fireworks and Candle.
Program AE mode is also automatic but it offers the user a wealth of settable
options. The white balance set to incandescent, ISO speed to 64, spot metering, the
color saturation, contrast and sharpness are on the "+" setting, and more. All of
this information can be cleared off the screen by pressing the Monitor button on the left side of the LCD.
Pressing the Monitor button will also enable the live histogram display.
Half-pressing the PHOTO shutter button will activate the autofocus system; if successful it displays
a green "OK" dot and the AF target marks turn green and the shutter speed and aperture
values are shown at the bottom.
The Image Size menu is called-up by depressing the Image Size button just above the MENU button. As with all menus on this hybrid camera, Image Size contains settings for both still and moving image captures; use the left and right buttons of the 4-way controller to select still or movie settings:
The menu displays the remaining number of shots or movie recording time for each selection.
Like the Image Size menu, the Record menu integrates settings for both still and moving image modes. A PHOTO/MOVIE indicator to the lower right of the menu option indicates whether it is applicable to still, movie, or both. The Record options (other than Auto mode):
Auto, Program, Magnifying Glass (super closeup mode), Twilight, Twilight Portrait, Landscape, Snow, Beach, High Speed Shutter, Fireworks and Candle.
Exposure Compensation - Offset the exposure metering by ±2.0EV in 1/3EV steps
Focus - Multi AF, Center AF, Spot AF or focus fixed at 0.5m, 1m, 3m, 7m or infinity
Metering - Multi-pattern (default) or Spot
White Balance - Auto, Sunny, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent, Flash
ISO - Auto or manually locked at 64, 100, 200, 400
Picture Quality - Fine or Standard
Record Mode - Normal, Speed Burst, Exposure Bracketing or Multi Burst
Burst Rate - 7.5/15/30 frames per second (only when Multi Burst is active)
Bracket Step - 0.3, 0.7 or 1.0EV (only when Bracketing is active)
Flash Level - High, Normal or Low
Picture Effect - None, Sepia or B&W
Saturation - Default is 0 but may be + or -
Contrast - Default is 0 but may be + or -
Sharpness - Default is 0 but may be + or -
Macro (close-up) focus mode allows you to shoot much closer than normal. The focus
range in macro is from 3.25 inches to infinity. Not close enough? Use the
Magnifying Glass Mode to get as close as 0.4 inches (1 cm) for up
to 3.5x life size images!
Record motion video with audio. The 640x480 mode is 30fps; other choices are
320x240 at 30fps and 320x240 at 15fps.
Movies are recorded by depressing the MOVIE button; a switch under the MOVIE button
selects a recording time of 5 seconds or continuous, with
length of recording limited only by the space available on the installed Memory Stick.
Memory Stick Capacities (approx.)
The M2's Hybrid shooting mode is entered with the HYBRID switch under the PHOTO button. The LCD viewfinder will begin blinking a movie icon on top of the still image indicator, and reduce the number of recordable images on the Memory Stick, accounting for the memory needed to record both a still image and a movie. In hybrid more, the M2 continuously buffers 5 seconds of 320x240 moving image with sound at 15 fps. When the PHOTO shutter button is depressed, the M2 captures a still image as a JPEG, and concurrently saves the previous 5 seconds of moving image as an MP4 file; the M2 will continue to record another 3 seconds of moving image after the still capture if the Hybrid Rec is set to Normal in the setup menu, or stop recording the movie if Hybrid Rec is set to Pre Rec. The movie's audio track will contain camera sounds, including beep (if enabled) and shutter. The still image capture interrupts the movie for about 3 seconds in Normal mode.
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